Places of Interest in Kangra-Dharamshala-Palampur Circle
Dharamshala – Blessed with Beauty :- A British officer once wrote, “No scenery presents such sublime and delightful contrasts. Below lies the pains, a picture of rural loveliness and repose… turning from the scene of peaceful beauty, the stern and majestic hills confront us”. It might be added that the contrasts of Dharamshala go beyond the visual.
Bhagsunag :- (11 km. from Dharamshala) Known for an old temple, a fresh water spring, water falls and slate quarries.
Chamunda Devi Temple :- (15 km. from Dharamshala) This temple is situated on the right bank of the ‘Baner’ stream with the Dhauladhar as a backdrop, this has and idol of goddess Chammunda, who, it is said, was given the boon to fulfil the desires of those who worshipped her. On the back of the temple is a cave niche where a stone ‘Lingam’ under a boulder represents Nandi Keshwar (Shiva).
Chinmaya Tapovana :- (10 km. from Dharamshala) Situated on a hillock is the recently established ‘ashram’ complex by Swami Chinmayananda, who was a great exponent of the Gita. It is a beautiful place to visit.
ST. John’s Church :- (8 km. from Dharamshala) The Church lies in the forest between Mcleodganj and Forsythganj. It has a monument dedicated to Lord Elgin, one of the Viceroys of India, who died at Chauntra (Mandi district) and was buried here in 1863. The Church has lovely spotted glass windows and there is Christian cemetery around it.
Dharamkot :- (11 km. from Dharamshala) It is situated on the crest of a hill, this favourite picnic spot affords a panoramic view of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar range.
War Memorial :- (2 km. from Dharamshala) The Memorial is situated near the entry point to Dharamshala commemorates the memory of those who fought valiantly for the honour and defence of the mother land.
Triund :- (17 km. from Dharamshala) From Dharamshala, at an altitude of 2,827 meters. The snow line starts just 5 km. from Triund and affords a breathtaking view of the snows above and the valley below. It is a popular picnic and trekking spot. Those who want to do a return trek in one day are advised to start early. There is a forest rest house at Triund.
Kunal Pathri :- (3 km. from Dharamshala) A level walk from Kotwali Bazar leads upto the rock temple of the local goddess.
Kareri :- (22 km. from Dahramshala) Altitude 6,500 feet. Kareri lake is surrounded by green meadows, Oak and Pine trees, making it an idyllic place to visit.
Kashmir House :- There is a steep slope that connects Dharamshala with its twin town, Mcleodganj. By the side of the road, and approached past a short grassy drive is the art-deco mansion of Kashmir House. With a view of Dharamshala and the flowing undulation of the Kangra valley, this was built in 1935 by a prominent businessman of the area, Lala Amar Nath Sood. He sold this to the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh when it was named ‘Kashmir House’. In turn, the Maharaja who barely used the property sold this to the Punjab Government. Kangra was then a part of the State of Punjab. After Himachal Pradesh came into being, the house was transferred to the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and converted into a hotel. Today, this charming house still echoes the grace of yesteryears and is conveniently located along the upper slopes of Dharamshala.
Dal Lake :- Lies amidst hills and stately fir trees and is 11 km. from Lower Dharamshala. It is a starting point for excursion and trekking and is located next to Tibetan children’s village.
Jawalamukhi :- (56 km. from Dharamshala and 30 km. from Kangra) This place is famous for Jawalamukhi, the ‘Flaming Goddess’ is one of the most popular Hindu temple in Northern India. There is no idol and the flame is considered a manifestation of the manifestation of the goddess. The eternal flame issues from the rock sanctum and is constantly fed by the priests. Two important fairs are held during the Navratras, in early April and in mid October.
Nadaun :- 10 km. from Jawalamukhi and 40 km. from Kangra. A lovely place for a quiet weekend. The Beas, which flows, nearby, provides excellent Masheer fishing. There is a temple dedicated to Shiva. The place falls in district Hamirpur.
Maharana Pratap Sarovar (Pong dam) :- The attraction of Maharana Pratap Sarovar, however, extends beyond its water resource. The lake lies in an ancient and historical land, the imprints of which are strewn all round. The banks of the Beas round Dehra Goppur have nurtured human civilization at least from the stone-age. Many Neolithic sites have been excavated by the Archaeological Survey in this area.
Water-Sports :- Feb by the Beas, and its numerous perennial tributaries, like Gaj, Baner Neugal and Binwa Khads and Uhland Ban Ganga Rivers, below the Pandoh Dam, the Maharana Pratap Sarovar retains adequate water-level throughout the year for various water related activities and sports.
Angling :- The Beas and its many tributaries are breeding grounds for a variety of fish that are also carried into the lake. Many of these are favoured by sportsmen. The mahaseer, amongst these are many slips and tribulations between catching one and landing it.
Wetland Sanctuary :- With so much water and food around avian hunters could not be missing. The lake and its environs, provide a varied habitat for avifauna, specially water irds, both resident and migratory. Large forested tracts along the shores, marshes, adequate submarine growth and bush-covered banks help shelter and nourish a great diversity of bird life. Over 220 species from 50 families have been identified in these environs. Many of which are seasonal visitors from distant lands.
Masroor :- (40 km.) Masroor (Masrur) is known for its monolithic temples. There are fifteen monolithic rock-cut temples in the Indo-Aryan style, richly carved. The temples, partly ruined now, are profusely decorated, with sculptural ornamentation conceived in the same manner as the great temple of Kailash at Ellora in Maharashtra. The main shrine contains three stone images of Ram, Lakshman and Sita. It is known as Alora and Ajanta of Himachal Pradesh.
Trilokpur :- (41 km.) The natural cave has attractive pillars of limestone on the floor of the cave by the percolation of water from the roof. It is something like stalagmites. The cave is dedivated to lord Shiva.
Nurpur :- (66 km.) It is famous for an old fort and temple of ‘Brij Raj Behari’. The image according to legend was worshipped by ‘Meera Bai’. The fort is in ruins now but still has some carved relief work on stone.
Sujanpur-Tira :- (80 kms.) The historic town of Sujanpur Tira is known for its place, now in ruins, built by Raja Sansar Chand. It is famous for the temple of Gauri Shankar, Murli Manohar and Narbadeshwar. There is the largest ground of Himachal Pradesh which is made use of as a meeting place and also for sports activities. This town falls in district Hamirpur.
Dada Siba :- Downstream of the river Beas, on the Western extremity of Himachal Pradesh, the village of Dada Siba lies close to the state border with Punjab. Sometime towards the middle of the fifteenth century, the erstwhile princely state of Dada Siba came into being as an offshoot of the kingdom of Guler. And while its rulers had surprisingly short periods of reign – rarely exceeding a decade-the state also managed to preserve its identity and independence through the period of Mughal rule and even past the rise of Ranjit Singh’s prwerful kingdom in the Punjab.